Illustration of Hero wearing a mask

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

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Act 4, Scene 1 Summary

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Last Updated February 6, 2023.

At the wedding ceremony, Claudio accuses Hero of dishonor and denies taking any part in her wantonness.

Don Pedro and Don John support Claudio’s accusations, despite Leonato’s entreaties to Claudio.

When Claudio questions Hero about the encounter he witnessed last night, she denies any involvement.

Claudio holds to his position and leaves with Don Pedro and Don John. Hero and Leonato despair.

Friar Francis, who knows that Hero is innocent, advises Leonato to claim that hero is dead and arrange for a public ceremony in the hopes that Claudio will change his mind about her.

  • Left alone at the altar, Beatrice and Benedick finally admit to their shared feelings for one another.
  • Beatrice requests that Benedick kill Claudio in the name of Hero’s honor and innocence, to which Benedick agrees.

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Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

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Act 4, Scene 2 Summary